Cerro Trails to Top Over a Mile

06/01/14 | By | More

MONTROSE – Cycling enthusiasts and anyone else interested in outdoor recreation are invited to volunteer to continue trail building efforts at Cerro Summit on Saturday, June 7.

The City of Montrose owns 110 acres about 10 miles east of town known as the Cerro Summit Recreation Area. Although mostly used as a sledding hill in the winter, last summer city staff and members of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, began trail building to give the area a multi-use status and add another outdoor amenity to area residents and tourists.

Montrose resident Bill Harris, a former president and board member of the COPMOBA, and a member of the organization since 1989, said about three-quarters of a mile of trail was built in 2013 by volunteers. “Before last summer there was nothing,” he said. Harris, who is in charge of the Cerro Summit trails project, said this year’s efforts will increase the amount of trail to well over a mile.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) recently awarded COPMOBA with a $5,000 grant to help build the trail system. In 2013 over $4,500 was raised for the project, and over 470 volunteer hours  donated to the project. The trail system’s plan was developed by Singletrack Trails Inc., receiving a cultural resource clearance from the city.

This spring, according to Harris, COPMOBA was invited to apply for a REI stewardship grant. COPMOBA has been the recipient of previous REI grants, and the two organizations have developed a working partnership through the support of the REI team at its Grand Junction store. In past years the grants have gone to the Lunch Loop bike park and other trail projects in the Grand Valley. In 2013 an REI grant went to COPMOBA’s Ridgway Area Trails effort and in 2014 to Montrose’s Cerro Summit project.

Harris said volunteers should be ready to put in some hard work, for a great project.

“This isn’t a shorts and sandals affair,” Harris said of trail building. “It’s hard work and it’s dirty.”

Those attending are asked to wear appropriate clothing, bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of work gloves along with food and water.

A youth group from Grand Junction, the Colorado Conservation Corp, will help with the trail construction.

Harris said the group for many years had not really pursued the trail project at Cerro. He credits the effort to a combination of COPMOBA leadership and its collaboration with cycling and hiking enthusiasts on City of Montrose staff.

“The city has staff who like to hike and bike, and they saw this as a possibility to expand what the city could offer as far as recreation,” Harris said.

Montrose City Planner Gary Baker, a member of COPMOBA for the past 10 years, said the addition of the Cerro trail system will not only increase visitors to the area, but keep residents from moving away, as well.

“I kind of look at it as a portfolio, and this is just another amenity to that,” he said. “If you can offer that to visitors and residents, that’s key. It’s such a cool area for bird-watching and doing those trails, something that’s close to town, is awesome.”

The work session goes from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Volunteers can sign up online at www.copmoba,org, clicking on the Calendar  selection, and then on the Cerro Summit listing. A party for all volunteers starts at 4 p.m. at 2 Rascals Brewing Company, 147 N. First St., with food and a beverages courtesy of COPMOBA, with pizza from Colorado Boy.

Registration is limited; volunteers must sign up before May 31.

Harris thanked Montrose City Council for its continuing efforts to expand the city’s quality of life amenities and develop projects designed to attract tourists.

Major contributors to the project include the Montrose Rotary Club, Chipeta Chapter, Colorado Archaeological Society, who performed the cultural resource clearance for the property, private donors and a host of private businesses.

wwoody@watchnewspapers.com

Twitter.com/williamwoodyCO

A MAP of the trail system atop Cerro Summit. (Courtesy image)

A MAP of the trail system atop Cerro Summit. (Courtesy image)

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